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The Testator Must Write the Testament Himself (Herself) and Without Help from Third Parties

The Higher Regional Court in Hamm has ruled: a will is usually deemed invalid when it has been prepared with the help of transcripts produced by third parties.


Cologne, NRW -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/14/2013 -- GRP Rainer Lawyers and Tax Advisors in Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart, Bremen, Hanover, Nuremberg, Essen and London conclude: This is the case even if it has been made according to the wish and instructions of the deceased and signed by him or her. The decision of the Higher Regional Court in Hamm states that the will should only be considered valid by its form if it has been written by hand without any outside influence.

In this concrete case, the testator died at the age of 71 years. He created his will two months before his death in December 2011. To identify themselves as heirs the applicants in this case requested to issue a certificate of inheritance. From consideration of the evidence it was established that the weakened testator had been helped by a witness in writing of the will. The application for a certificate according to the contents of the will was declined. The Higher Regional Court in Hamm stated that there was no compliance with the statutory form along with the effectiveness of the preparation of the will, since neither the witness was able to confirm that the testator was able to write the document in person, nor could the written text of the will provide insightful information.

The Higher Regional Court stated further in its considerations that writing of the testament by the testator in person is an indispensable prerequisite of its authenticity. Failure always results in invalidity of the will. A will should not be created without professional advice. An invalid or not carefully prepared will has far-reaching consequences. Bequest and inheritance are more than purely legal matters. Apart from legal issues related to inheritance, it often involves emotions and sensible issues inside the family. A lawyer can handle such situations confidently and sensitively. When you have questions about succession, you should seek professional help from an experienced attorney. He or she can provide you comprehensive advice and plan next steps together with you.

About GRP Rainer LLP
GRP Rainer LLP is an international firm of lawyers and tax advisors who are specialists in commercial law. The firm counsels commercial and industrial companies and corporations, as well as associations, small- and mid-sized businesses, self-employed freelancers and private individuals worldwide from offices in Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, and Stuttgart, Germany and London UK.

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